We have a guest due to arrive tomorrow for a 5 day stay who messaged us this evening saying, “Please Call Me Now! Extremely Urgent!” along with his phone number. I was trying to get ready for work, so my 18 year old son (who does over half the work of running the place) called the guy to find out what the problem was. After several minutes of talking to him in the other room, my son comes into the kitchen where I’m trying to get my stuff together and has an absolutely baffled look on his face. He holds out the phone and says, “He’s making no sense, but I think he wants us to Paypal him money.”
So I take the phone and tell him who I am and the guest starts going on this very long ramble about how his girlfriend has an emergency and he doesn’t know what it is but he needs to get $500 to help her pay for her plane flight (dunno where) in the next couple of hours and she already has her visa, but she has to go right away and he would have the money within 48 hours but can I get him back his reservation money within the next couple of hours so he can help her? He seriously went on for about 5 solid minutes before I could get a word in edgewise. I was rather taken aback, but I explained to him that I didn’t have his reservation money–Airbnb has it as it is not released to us until the day after he checks in. I barely got that out when he launches into another extensive explanation of how he needs to get hold of the money now to help his girlfriend (of the mysterious emergency) and could I call Airbnb and expedite the matter for him–then he proceeds to put me on speaker phone and read off a bunch of messages from, I assume, the girlfriend, that make no sense and explain absolutely nothing whatsoever. When he finally takes a breath, I break in to advise him to call Airbnb, have them cancel the reservation, explain the emergency, and find out what can be done to expedite matters. By now I’m getting a little impatient because I have to go to work.
He wanted me to provide Airbnb’s number, I referred him to the website, and he asked me again if I could get him the money–all in a very urgent fast voice, to which I could only refer him back to Airbnb again. He kept seeming to try to walk around that, and no where in there did he appear to want to cancel the reservation.
I finally get off the phone, look at my son, and ask him what the heck the guy said to him. He tells me the guy was asking him if we could send him the reservation money because he had to pay for his girlfriend’s emergency helicopter flight and he would pay us back.
I have no idea what to make of this guy, but he just now sent me a message (yes, at 2:24AM) saying "My Victoria (?the girlfriend) will not be coming today, but we are trying for Tuesday instead. So keep the reservation active and I will inform you about check-in when I know more."
Uh, okay. If this guy and his girlfriend show up, I think we will be keeping a very close eye on them. Times like this I am glad my sister (who is a buff looking body builder) lives downstairs in the guest area. The whole thing seems completely weird. This guest, by the way, messaged me a couple of days ago wanting a complete inventory of my guest kitchen, down to how many eating utensils. After talking to him, I think the guy is just plain weird, but I’m anticipating high needs and high drama if and when he shows up. Hopefully nothing worse than that, but we will definitely be watching things closely.
If I’d had this interaction with a pending guest, I’d be advising myself to call CS at air, rather than suggesting the guest does.
While it could be the man is distraught and acting irrationally due to an emergency with his friend, when I read of your experience I felt wonky just imagining how all this must have been for you.
I’d tell CS the details, and ask for a cancellation, without penalty.
You’ve already been exposed to unwanted drama and yes, there well could be more, not only over the phone but in full colour, surround-sound and animated stage props, right in your home…
Honestly, I expected the guy to cancel and I’m rather surprised he didn’t. Unfortunately, I can’t call CS from work right now, so I will have to deal with it in the morning when I get off. The guy was very weird and disjointed on the phone and it was super weird that he had no idea what the girlfriend’s emergency was, just that she had to get on a plane (or helicopter??). From the messages he was reading off rapid-fire to me from the girlfriend, I kind of get the impression that it is a long-distance relationship. It is all very baffling.
Probably best you keep your own relationship with him long-distance too!
Oh dear. From your description of him being “very weird and disjointed” with “rapid-fire reading”, I’d fear the poor guy is under the influence of more than a girlfriend needing a helicopter.
Please consider toxic drugs and/or scary derangement could enter your home.
As there’s nothing you can do until the morning, try and put it out of your mind now, and deal with it first thing tomorrow. Having the reservation cancelled is my strong sense for best course of action.
We’ll be standing by.
Red flags. Red flags. Red flags. Oh and did I mention Red flags?
Document what he said through the Airbnb message system. Call Airbnb and have them cancel his reservation. Was this an IB?
No offence to the Africa nation but is this guy a Nigerian Prince? Personally, I would contact Air and cancel him without penalty because “I don’t feel comfortable with this guest”
NO NO NO.
This needs to be in messages not calls. I wouldn’t be able to cancel fast enough. So as has been advised, write him recapping the phone call and then get on the phone to Airbnb and have them take care of it.
Don’t let him in your house.
What is it people always say? Better suited to a hotel!
he is not showing up. this is a scam. Contact abb immediately
I second the SCAM thought. Next he’ll tell you he’s a prince and needs you to wire him money ASAP…Call Airbnb right away!
Scam, scam, scam and huge red flags! He won’t turn up
Now I want to know if you get to keep any money.
Do tell us what happened. Did he turn up?
If not, did you get to keep your funds?
I could not help laughing out loud at this ridiculousness, having a son of the same age who very reluctantly helps with our host live-in Airbnb. He would not have been patient like your son was at all!
This is a very old scam. It happens through PayPal through Craigslist and now Airbnb. The guy actually has no deposit money that’s cleared , what he’s trying to do is get Airbnb or you to send him money that he hasn’t deposited that’s how he earns his "Living! "This is why I use Google Voice so I can record calls.
I bet you money he isn’t in the US and never shows up at your door. He’s using a prepaid non-registered phone and you didn’t mention if he had an accent so that he didn’t sound American .
If for some reason he actually intended to show up I wouldn’t even give out my accurate address so he wouldn’t get a foot in my door.
You need to report him immediately so they can remove this account.
I completely believe that its entire intent it’s just to scam you to release money to him that he pretends he’s paid but in reality hasn’t cleared any account so he’s out nothing and you’re out $500 or whatever it is that he’s asking for. Please give a response and let us know what came down with this scam dude.
So when you inform the other party they are being recorded, how do they react? Do you ever have people hang up on you? There was another thread about this very thing recently.
No it’s just a feature that’s available but I rarely use it. If that scammer called me and started up with that fabrication I’d record. I do use call blocking though. It says the number dialed has been disconnected. Love that feature!
In my jurisdiction it’s one party consent, so I can record any phone call or conversation I am a party to without advising the other parties and use it in any legal proceeding. It’s a good idea for everyone to know their local laws.